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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL)

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Happy Holidays from the Capitol

Monday, December 23, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well and that you’re enjoying this special time of year. From my family to yours, I want to offer my sincere wishes for a wonderful holiday season full of joy and fellowship, along with a great New Year just around the corner.

Happy Holidays

Civics 101 Town Hall

Earlier this month, Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, Rep. Laurie Pryor and I hosted a Civics 101 Town Hall Meeting, and I want to thank everyone who attended and contributed to a fascinating discussion about all facets of our election. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon joined us for this event, and we’re thankful for his willingness to share his expertise on this topic with us. There are some significant events coming up in 2020 including the first-ever state presidential primary and the 2020 Census. The census will be followed by redrawing of congressional and legislative district maps based on the new population figures.

It’s clear members of our community value fair and secure elections, with robust participation from people exercising their civic duty to vote. I look forward to working with Secretary Simon and my legislative colleagues to help ensure Minnesotans can continue to be a leader in voter turnout.

civics 101

Photo: Raymond T. Rivard, Sun Sailor

The Sun Sailor had an excellent review of the event which you can read here.

Holding Vape Manufacturers Accountable

After more than 10 years of progress in reducing youth smoking, tobacco use among high school students actually increased in 2017. This is the result of big tobacco marketing e-cigarettes toward youth, with sleek-looking designs and flavors that appeal to kids.

Earlier this month, Minnesota announced a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL. In addition to their aggressive marketing toward young people, JUUL developed products with higher, more potent, and more addictive doses of nicotine than conventional cigarettes and other e-cigarettes and failed to disclose this while marketing their products as a safe alternative to cigarettes.

Eden Prairie and 54 other cities have enacted “Tobacco 21” ordinances raising the minimum age to purchase such products to 21. The Minnesota House approved legislation to expand this policy statewide this past session, but the Republican-led Minnesota Senate blocked this from becoming law. The U.S. Congress approved a nationwide measure as part of its federal budget recently.

Wide Support for Paid Family Leave

During the 2019 legislative session, the Minnesota House passed – with my support – legislation guaranteeing all Minnesotans access to Paid Family & Medical Leave. No one should have to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of a sick family member or bonding with a newborn, but unfortunately, it remains a reality for too many people.

While the Minnesota Senate blocked that bill, momentum continues to grow for this measure which would ensure a basic level of economic security for families. Americans overwhelmingly support Paid Family Leave, which you can read about in a new in-depth story from USA Today.

Eden Prairie Hiring Firefighters

If you’re looking to serve your community and potentially save lives, the Eden Prairie Fire Department is looking for dedicated people to become firefighters. Training is provided, excellent retirement benefits are available through the Eden Prairie Fire Relief Association, and there are many career advancement opportunities available.

On Wednesday, January 8, the Eden Prairie Fire Department is hosting a recruitment open house. Click here for more information.

Once again, I want to share my wishes for a fun, enjoyable, and safe holiday season with family and friends. I also hope that in the new year you make new memories, reach your goals, and be safe and healthy throughout 2020.

As always, I hope you will continue to contact me with any input, ideas, or feedback. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.


Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn
State Representative